My threat did nothing. Riley continued acting the fool and my wife and I sadly felt that we were forced to follow through. When she awoke the next morning, the Easter Bunny had left a note regarding her behavior and why there were no hidden eggs and an empty basket.
It was the hardest thing we as parents had to do, but as conduits of the Ester Bunny, we felt we had to keep his/our promise so that Riley would realize that her actions dictated her consequences.
Riley was an angel that morning, and after her nap, as the Easter Bunny's letter promised, she found a filled basket and hidden eggs (because she had changed her attitude). Riley never forgot that and when warned in the future, she made appropriate changes.
I don't believe that during the holidays we as parents need to feel obligated to give our children all the gifts we had planned to give if they start acting the fools. We warn them. And, if they continue to be knuckle-heads, Santa is definitely allowed to deliver coal. You have the right to hold back on some of their gifts. And, on Christmas morning, if they wonder why the gifts were a bit on the thin side, you can let them know that you and/or Santa saw how they were acting and made appropriate changes.
You could return the gifts, but I suggest holding on to the extras and giving them during Valentine's Day, Easter or birthdays. Hopefully by holding the kids accountable the one tough holiday will make the future ones pleasant.
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